Owl Photography


Photographing Owls (Owling)
My experiences photographing Owls in Hampshire

Tawny Owl(Strix aluco)juvenile
Canon 1D III and Canon 400mm f/5.6

A few years ago now in the early 2000’s I was driving home late one evening when a Barn Owl flew across the road in front of me on the outskirts of a rural village near my home in NE Hampshire. This was one of the first I had seen locally and so a few nights later I visited likely looking habitat nearby at dusk and to my pleasure found a bird hunting for voles in an overgrown field.

This was to be the start of a fascination with finding and photographing Owls locally and elsewhere in my home county of Hampshire. At this time many of the fields in the area had remained unploughed for some time and voles must have been plentiful in these areas. These…

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Early spring birding


A Lovely morning in the Deadwater Valley Trust Bordon Inclosure yesterday morning with a definite feel of spring in the air, I was almost never out of earshot of a drumming woodpecker or a singing treecreeper. I also saw two Roe Deer a Red Kite, 2 Sparrow Hawk, Bullfinch, 20 Redwing and 25 Siskins among the more common woodland birds. I managed a couple of nice Treecreeper pictures as well as these pictures of Marsh Tit. By far the rarer of the five Tit species, the others are mostly easy to see in the area. Marsh Tit probably only breed here in small numbers perhaps 2-4 pairs so is was nice to see this bird so well, down by the river where the inclosure meets Alexandra Park.

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Black pine/Ponderosa Frankie Tree Revisit-

michael hagedorn

This is an earlier work, black pine grafted on a ponderosa trunk. I think it was grafted about 9 years ago. It’s a small tree, a chuhin at 14”. Collected years ago by Randy Knight; recently reworked by apprentice John Eads.

In our first post on this tree, Black Pine/Ponderosa, I suggested calling it a Frankie tree, for the Frankenstein element of splicing two genetics together. And though I’m in danger of sounding like a broken record, I do think grafting has a real place for the long-needled ponderosa, particularly in the case of smaller bonsai sizes. There are several examples in the blog archives of smaller Frankie pines (just type in ‘black pine’ in the search field).

About four or five years after putting two cleft grafts near the trunk, on older branches, this ponderosa/black pine Frankie tree got potted up for the first time. This is in…

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Minimalist Hemlock Styling~

michael hagedorn

This mountain hemlock clump, Tsuga mertensiana, was featured in a styling post some years ago, and after a recent reworking felt ready for a revisit. Since the styling it’s been placed on a Corian slab, and moss has taken over.

This one seems to slow down visitors. With some curiosity, I’ve watched some literally come to standstill in front of it, as if listening. I don’t know what that’s about, though it’s an interesting response. The tree is very large, about 6′ tall.

I collected this tree with Bobby Curttright seemingly forever ago, though it was likely only about 6 years or so. I’m full of ponderables today—bonsai appears to both compact and expand time, depending on what part of it you’re connecting to. Today it’s the expanding part.

The tree however is in the present (and the past at the same time, if you’re counting rings…) and is…

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